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(STLToday)   St. Louis, often recipient of the "most dangerous city" award is now terrorizing its residents with horribly scary urban agriculture   (stltoday.com) divider line 48
    More: Strange, urban agriculture, Family Roots International, children playing, 23rd Street, inner-city, farms  
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3337 clicks; posted to Main » on 20 Sep 2013 at 3:27 PM (29 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-09-20 03:29:41 PM
St. Louis, often recipient of the "most dangerous city" award is not terrorizing its residents with horribly scary urban agriculture

Is not? Well, that's a relief.
 
2013-09-20 03:34:33 PM
Sorry, but that lady is an ass.
 
2013-09-20 03:35:18 PM
Next up, Rhubarb: alley property or not?
 
2013-09-20 03:36:19 PM
There have been strange new animals around, she said: foxes and deer, fat rats and even a peacock.

That sounds pretty awesome, actually.

A few weeks ago, she says, a man who was running from the police fled through the corn to hide in her yard, until she chased him off.

That, not so much.

In fact, Booker said, the whole experience of living amid corn had turned her off to the vegetable altogether.

Corn is so scary that I can't eat it now!!!!  WTF?
 
2013-09-20 03:36:31 PM
Is it just me, or could so many news stories end with a gigantic (and sarcastic) "Waaaahhh!"?
 
2013-09-20 03:39:07 PM

Snarfangel: St. Louis, often recipient of the "most dangerous city" award is not terrorizing its residents with horribly scary urban agriculture

Is not? Well, that's a relief.


It actually isn't. The problem is the city of St. Louis is pretty small when compared to other cities of the same metropolitan size. In addition St. Louis City and St. Louis County are two totally separate entities.

If you compare metropolitan area to metropolitan area, St. Louis' crime stats are the same (if not lower) as other mid-sized (1 to 4 million) metro areas. We're just stuck with a lot of bad decisions made 140+ years ago.
 
2013-09-20 03:39:18 PM

Any Pie Left: Next up, Rhubarb: alley property or not?


It's alley property ya lezzie! Fark yeh! Fark off!
patdollard.com
 
2013-09-20 03:40:18 PM
DoctorWhat:A few weeks ago, she says, a man who was running from the police fled through the corn to hide in her yard, until she chased him off.

That, not so much.


Maybe she shouldn't live in an criminal cesspool city where people run from the cops. A guy hides in your yard and it's the corn's fault?
 
das
2013-09-20 03:43:54 PM
Take notes Detroit!!
///Fine looking corn.
 
2013-09-20 03:45:41 PM
So basically one old coont yelling at  clouds corn.

Don't laugh. This could be you one day.
 
2013-09-20 03:46:18 PM
Came to see crazy Rhubarb lady.  Not disappointed.
 
2013-09-20 03:46:44 PM

Snarfangel: St. Louis, often recipient of the "most dangerous city" award is not terrorizing its residents with horribly scary urban agriculture

Is not? Well, that's a relief.


yep, pretty sure we get that honor here in Flint MI

/sigh
 
2013-09-20 03:49:14 PM

unexplained bacon: Snarfangel: St. Louis, often recipient of the "most dangerous city" award is not terrorizing its residents with horribly scary urban agriculture

Is not? Well, that's a relief.

yep, pretty sure we get that honor here in Flint MI

/sigh


err...I read good, but not sometimes

disregard. Flint gets the "most dangerous city" award....award? that can't be right.
/friday is for whiskey
 
2013-09-20 03:51:09 PM
I wanted to strangle those people.  You live in the ghetto and are pissed off that someone is coming in, hiring folks to pick corn and even giving you some of that corn?  Because you missed the days when all that was there was a polluted superfund site?  Are you farking kidding me?

The sad thing is the people biatching about it are (probably) in no way representative of the overall feeling in the neighborhood towards the farm.  But "people like farm" isn't much of a story.
 
2013-09-20 03:52:03 PM

mjohnson71: Snarfangel: St. Louis, often recipient of the "most dangerous city" award is not terrorizing its residents with horribly scary urban agriculture

Is not? Well, that's a relief.

It actually isn't. The problem is the city of St. Louis is pretty small when compared to other cities of the same metropolitan size. In addition St. Louis City and St. Louis County are two totally separate entities.

If you compare metropolitan area to metropolitan area, St. Louis' crime stats are the same (if not lower) as other mid-sized (1 to 4 million) metro areas. We're just stuck with a lot of bad decisions made 140+ years ago.


I'm visiting next month and assumed it would be safe to take public transit from the STL airport to the Hilton by the arch. Am I wrong? I never heard. St. Louis as a dangerous place; East St. Louis, yes.
 
2013-09-20 03:53:50 PM
My sister lives N STL.  (Half a dozen blocks or so from this farm.)  You'd be hard pressed to actively change vacant land and make it worse.  There's dozens of vacant and condemned properties in the area.
 
2013-09-20 03:55:45 PM

Nestchick: mjohnson71: Snarfangel: St. Louis, often recipient of the "most dangerous city" award is not terrorizing its residents with horribly scary urban agriculture

Is not? Well, that's a relief.

It actually isn't. The problem is the city of St. Louis is pretty small when compared to other cities of the same metropolitan size. In addition St. Louis City and St. Louis County are two totally separate entities.

If you compare metropolitan area to metropolitan area, St. Louis' crime stats are the same (if not lower) as other mid-sized (1 to 4 million) metro areas. We're just stuck with a lot of bad decisions made 140+ years ago.

I'm visiting next month and assumed it would be safe to take public transit from the STL airport to the Hilton by the arch. Am I wrong? I never heard. St. Louis as a dangerous place; East St. Louis, yes.


You are gonna be fine...just be sure you hop off before it crosses the river and keep your bags close
 
zez
2013-09-20 03:56:59 PM
The metrolink (our train) is safe to take, the scenery is mostly nicer than what you'll see down highway 70 anyway.

Lots of cool microbreweries down there and if you're limber don't miss the city museum.
 
2013-09-20 03:58:46 PM
Yeah, add in Howard Street/North 23rd Street in to google street view and take a look around. Might as well be productive farmland than empy, weed-filled lots.
 
2013-09-20 03:59:12 PM

suburbanguy: My sister lives N STL.  (Half a dozen blocks or so from this farm.)  You'd be hard pressed to actively change vacant land and make it worse.  There's dozens of vacant and condemned properties in the area.


Wow.  I checked on google maps.  You're not kidding.  Not as bad as Detroit, but still....
 
2013-09-20 03:59:24 PM
North Stl is a shait hole. E.Stl same mebbe worse. Metro link is safe enough, just get off downtown you will be fine-probobly.
Of all the things to complain about, its corn. Fark
 
2013-09-20 03:59:41 PM

Nestchick: mjohnson71: Snarfangel: St. Louis, often recipient of the "most dangerous city" award is not terrorizing its residents with horribly scary urban agriculture

Is not? Well, that's a relief.

It actually isn't. The problem is the city of St. Louis is pretty small when compared to other cities of the same metropolitan size. In addition St. Louis City and St. Louis County are two totally separate entities.

If you compare metropolitan area to metropolitan area, St. Louis' crime stats are the same (if not lower) as other mid-sized (1 to 4 million) metro areas. We're just stuck with a lot of bad decisions made 140+ years ago.

I'm visiting next month and assumed it would be safe to take public transit from the STL airport to the Hilton by the arch. Am I wrong? I never heard. St. Louis as a dangerous place; East St. Louis, yes.


You will be fine. I think you will want to get off at the Busch Stadium stop and walk over to the Hotel.
 
2013-09-20 04:00:37 PM
I think the most frustrating thing about this, is most likely before it was a corn field, the property had a burnt out shell of a building on it.  If given the choice of crack house or cornfield, I think I am gonna take cornfield every day of the week.
......unless there are the children of the corn in the fields...well...maybe even then.
 
2013-09-20 04:01:15 PM

suburbanguy: My sister lives N STL.  (Half a dozen blocks or so from this farm.)  You'd be hard pressed to actively change vacant land and make it worse.  There's dozens of vacant and condemned properties in the area.


Dozens? Try entire empty blocks, especially in the Place Neighborhood.

I'm going to be in town in a coupleweeks, I might have to find my way up there just to check this place out.
 
2013-09-20 04:02:40 PM

Thingster: suburbanguy: My sister lives N STL.  (Half a dozen blocks or so from this farm.)  You'd be hard pressed to actively change vacant land and make it worse.  There's dozens of vacant and condemned properties in the area.

Dozens? Try entire empty blocks, especially in the Place Neighborhood.

I'm going to be in town in a coupleweeks, I might have to find my way up there just to check this place out.


On google maps you can see the ten empty blocks the place was built on.  Really crazy.  I can't see how the residents are really complaining.  And the city doesn't have to maintain all the cross streets.
 
2013-09-20 04:06:54 PM
http://hookedonhouses.net/2009/12/13/meet-me-in-st-louis-the-victoria n -on-kensington-ave/
Just run a 'Crime Stats Map' on the real-life addy of Judy Garland's house from "Meet Me In St Louis" @ 5135 Kensington & figure any re-make would have her avenging Margaret O'Brien's death in the first reel with a TEC-9
http://stlouis.cbslocal.com/2013/01/03/first-homicides-of-2013-in-st -l ouis/
 
2013-09-20 04:16:52 PM
You have to admit that corn is scary. It is one of the scariest of all vegetables.

Think of all the movies and TV shows where corn fields are scary.

North by Northwest.
Children of the corn
Signs
The X-files

Jurassic Park

Next to clowns, corn fields are among the scariest things in America.

And imagine if there are scary clowns in the corn.

DON'T GO INTO THE LONG GRASS, DAMMIT. It's full of monsters, ax murderers, crazy hillbillies, pagans, drug lords, dinosaurs, time travelers, and clowns. It tries to warn you by growing corn niblets, nature's scariest food.
 
2013-09-20 04:17:30 PM
NIMBYISM. It's not just for rich white folks any more.

Cornflakes. It's what's for breakfast.
 
2013-09-20 04:17:53 PM

FlyingJ: http://hookedonhouses.net/2009/12/13/meet-me-in-st-louis-the-victoria n -on-kensington-ave/
Just run a 'Crime Stats Map' on the real-life addy of Judy Garland's house from "Meet Me In St Louis" @ 5135 Kensington & figure any re-make would have her avenging Margaret O'Brien's death in the first reel with a TEC-9
http://stlouis.cbslocal.com/2013/01/03/first-homicides-of-2013-in-st -l ouis/


That neighborhood really isn't *that* bad.

It's within walking distance of two popular night spots (the Loop and the Central West End), and is only a few blocks from Forest Park.

Not saying you should take a walk through the park alone at night and you shouldn't be aware of your surroundings.
 
2013-09-20 04:23:21 PM

Any Pie Left: Next up, Rhubarb: alley property or not?


I simply had to login and vote funny for this,  favorite now - any pie left
peach is my favorite btw with vanilla
 
2013-09-20 04:23:57 PM
Some city people have never been in the woods at all. Any vegetation they can't see through is scary.

I would much rather look at a corn field than abandoned homes. But, I was an eagle scout and spent some of my youth on a farm.

She and her neighbors live there - I don't. If only there was some way to regulate what can be built in each area/zone. Perhaps some sort of law...
 
2013-09-20 04:25:52 PM

brantgoose: You have to admit that corn is scary. It is one of the scariest of all vegetables.

Think of all the movies and TV shows where corn fields are scary.

North by Northwest.
Children of the corn
Signs
The X-files
Jurassic Park

Next to clowns, corn fields are among the scariest things in America.

And imagine if there are scary clowns in the corn.

DON'T GO INTO THE LONG GRASS, DAMMIT. It's full of monsters, ax murderers, crazy hillbillies, pagans, drug lords, dinosaurs, time travelers, and clowns. It tries to warn you by growing corn niblets, nature's scariest food.


Did someone cornhole you once? Was it a clown? You sound traumatised.

/I kid, I kid.
 
2013-09-20 04:26:50 PM

Nestchick: mjohnson71: Snarfangel: St. Louis, often recipient of the "most dangerous city" award is not terrorizing its residents with horribly scary urban agriculture

Is not? Well, that's a relief.

It actually isn't. The problem is the city of St. Louis is pretty small when compared to other cities of the same metropolitan size. In addition St. Louis City and St. Louis County are two totally separate entities.

If you compare metropolitan area to metropolitan area, St. Louis' crime stats are the same (if not lower) as other mid-sized (1 to 4 million) metro areas. We're just stuck with a lot of bad decisions made 140+ years ago.

I'm visiting next month and assumed it would be safe to take public transit from the STL airport to the Hilton by the arch. Am I wrong? I never heard. St. Louis as a dangerous place; East St. Louis, yes.


You'll be safe as can be expected. All stations have security guards/cops on duty and they also patrol the trains. If you're really paranoid ride the front car by the driver. In 6 years of riding the train every day I've never had a problem.
 
2013-09-20 04:35:08 PM

mjohnson71: Nestchick: mjohnson71: Snarfangel: St. Louis, often recipient of the "most dangerous city" award is not terrorizing its residents with horribly scary urban agriculture

Is not? Well, that's a relief.

It actually isn't. The problem is the city of St. Louis is pretty small when compared to other cities of the same metropolitan size. In addition St. Louis City and St. Louis County are two totally separate entities.

If you compare metropolitan area to metropolitan area, St. Louis' crime stats are the same (if not lower) as other mid-sized (1 to 4 million) metro areas. We're just stuck with a lot of bad decisions made 140+ years ago.

I'm visiting next month and assumed it would be safe to take public transit from the STL airport to the Hilton by the arch. Am I wrong? I never heard. St. Louis as a dangerous place; East St. Louis, yes.

You'll be safe as can be expected. All stations have security guards/cops on duty and they also patrol the trains. If you're really paranoid ride the front car by the driver. In 6 years of riding the train every day I've never had a problem.


MetroLink on the west side of the river has never sketched me out.  There are random security patrols (rent-a-cop they may be) on the trains and platforms--which are also well lit and generally well maintained.  Good rule of thumb is to keep yourself to the Delmar Loop and Central West End if you're going to be more towards the city.  Most of the municipalities outside the city to the west are your typical whiteflight settlements and typically harmless.  I would never, ever ride the buses though--those things skeeve me out something fierce.
 
2013-09-20 04:44:21 PM

Any Pie Left: Sorry, but that lady is an ass.


To The Escape Zeppelin!: Maybe she shouldn't live in an criminal cesspool city where people run from the cops. A guy hides in your yard and it's the corn's fault?


FLMountainMan: I wanted to strangle those people.  You live in the ghetto and are pissed off that someone is coming in, hiring folks to pick corn and even giving you some of that corn?  Because you missed the days when all that was there was a polluted superfund site?  Are you farking kidding me?



Looks like you Farkers have everything taken care of here. Excellent work, everyone.
 
2013-09-20 04:53:59 PM

Private_Citizen: Some city people have never been in the woods at all. Any vegetation they can't see through is scary.

I would much rather look at a corn field than abandoned homes. But, I was an eagle scout and spent some of my youth on a farm.

She and her neighbors live there - I don't. If only there was some way to regulate what can be built in each area/zone. Perhaps some sort of law...


One time at a summer job I led a group of inner-city kids on a backpacking trip in the Appalachians.  Kind of an Outward Bound type thing.  I thought I had grown up a sheltered city boy, but these kids put me to shame.  They had never seen the mountains, had never seen deer, had no idea that smores were anything other than a pop tart flavor.  it was all so new to them.  They were actually incredibly well-behaved, because they were so scared of the woods.  Sounds cheesy, but I learned as much from them as they learned from me.
 
2013-09-20 04:58:52 PM

Vercengetorix: mjohnson71: Nestchick: mjohnson71: Snarfangel: St. Louis, often recipient of the "most dangerous city" award is not terrorizing its residents with horribly scary urban agriculture

Is not? Well, that's a relief.

It actually isn't. The problem is the city of St. Louis is pretty small when compared to other cities of the same metropolitan size. In addition St. Louis City and St. Louis County are two totally separate entities.

If you compare metropolitan area to metropolitan area, St. Louis' crime stats are the same (if not lower) as other mid-sized (1 to 4 million) metro areas. We're just stuck with a lot of bad decisions made 140+ years ago.

I'm visiting next month and assumed it would be safe to take public transit from the STL airport to the Hilton by the arch. Am I wrong? I never heard. St. Louis as a dangerous place; East St. Louis, yes.

You'll be safe as can be expected. All stations have security guards/cops on duty and they also patrol the trains. If you're really paranoid ride the front car by the driver. In 6 years of riding the train every day I've never had a problem.

MetroLink on the west side of the river has never sketched me out.  There are random security patrols (rent-a-cop they may be) on the trains and platforms--which are also well lit and generally well maintained.  Good rule of thumb is to keep yourself to the Delmar Loop and Central West End if you're going to be more towards the city.  Most of the municipalities outside the city to the west are your typical whiteflight settlements and typically harmless.  I would never, ever ride the buses though--those things skeeve me out something fierce.


Agree with all that's been said, although remember that notwithstanding the people and lights in the nicer part of the Central West End - especially if you're a female and/or on your own- that even if you're next to a palatial mansion you're still a stone's throw from some very rough parts of town. Stay south of Delmar as a general rule of thumb. With the Metro, I typically prefer to be on the blue line, although red is what you'll get from the airport until you can switch. It's awesome that you're visiting STL - we need more people who don't freak out over distorted crime stats and are willing to give our city a shot. Lots of cool stuff to see here. Be sure to climb around the City Museum and see some October baseball (knock on wood).
 
2013-09-20 05:02:54 PM

brantgoose: You have to admit that corn is scary. It is one of the scariest of all vegetables.

Think of all the movies and TV shows where corn fields are scary.

North by Northwest.
Children of the corn
Signs
The X-files
Jurassic Park


DON'T GO INTO THE LONG GRASS, DAMMIT. It's full of monsters, ax murderers, crazy hillbillies, pagans, drug lords, dinosaurs, time travelers, and clowns. It tries to warn you by growing corn niblets, nature's scariest food.


I dont think there was corn in Jurassic park
 
2013-09-20 05:07:13 PM

FLMountainMan: I wanted to strangle those people.  You live in the ghetto and are pissed off that someone is coming in, hiring folks to pick corn and even giving you some of that corn?  Because you missed the days when all that was there was a polluted superfund site?  Are you farking kidding me?

The sad thing is the people biatching about it are (probably) in no way representative of the overall feeling in the neighborhood towards the farm.  But "people like farm" isn't much of a story.


True, even if the farming results in free food, it's not the kind of food these city dwellers like. Now maybe if they put a McDonald's  there instead? Maybe a couple of dollar stores?
 
2013-09-20 05:08:06 PM

gunrunner: brantgoose: You have to admit that corn is scary. It is one of the scariest of all vegetables.

Think of all the movies and TV shows where corn fields are scary.

North by Northwest.
Children of the corn
Signs
The X-files
Jurassic Park


DON'T GO INTO THE LONG GRASS, DAMMIT. It's full of monsters, ax murderers, crazy hillbillies, pagans, drug lords, dinosaurs, time travelers, and clowns. It tries to warn you by growing corn niblets, nature's scariest food.

I dont think there was corn in Jurassic park


Corn as we know it wouldn't exist without human intervention.
 
2013-09-20 05:16:46 PM
She will have a fit if everyone brings back victory farming LOL
 
2013-09-20 05:51:26 PM
Lady go down to Lowes and get your self a sprayer, some industrial grade plant killer, and go to town some night like a plant killing Ninja.
 
2013-09-20 05:52:47 PM

FLMountainMan: I wanted to strangle those people.  You live in the ghetto and are pissed off that someone is coming in, hiring folks to pick corn and even giving you some of that corn?  Because you missed the days when all that was there was a polluted superfund site?  Are you farking kidding me?

The sad thing is the people biatching about it are (probably) in no way representative of the overall feeling in the neighborhood towards the farm.  But "people like farm" isn't much of a story.


What makes you think they cleaned up the pollution? Well if they grow enough shiat in that soil eventually they will get it out.
 
2013-09-20 05:53:25 PM
They're frightened of corn? Would they prefer a crack house?

It is a little weird that zoning allows farming right next to homes. A neighbor's yard-sized garden is one thing, but acres of corn is another.

But whatever. My porch looks out onto a parking lot. I'd rather look at corn.
 
2013-09-20 05:57:41 PM

Slaves2Darkness: Lady go down to Lowes and get your self a sprayer, some industrial grade plant killer, and go to town some night like a plant killing Ninja.


That sounds a bit too much like work, sir.
 
2013-09-20 06:13:49 PM

Nestchick: mjohnson71: Snarfangel: St. Louis, often recipient of the "most dangerous city" award is not terrorizing its residents with horribly scary urban agriculture

Is not? Well, that's a relief.

It actually isn't. The problem is the city of St. Louis is pretty small when compared to other cities of the same metropolitan size. In addition St. Louis City and St. Louis County are two totally separate entities.

If you compare metropolitan area to metropolitan area, St. Louis' crime stats are the same (if not lower) as other mid-sized (1 to 4 million) metro areas. We're just stuck with a lot of bad decisions made 140+ years ago.

I'm visiting next month and assumed it would be safe to take public transit from the STL airport to the Hilton by the arch. Am I wrong? I never heard. St. Louis as a dangerous place; East St. Louis, yes.


You will be fine..
 
2013-09-20 08:34:08 PM
I think I's rather be surrounded by fields of corn than crack houses, but that's just me.

People just piss and moan because they don't like change, even when it's necessary because things just aren't sustainable. They're trying to conserve water around where I live and people piss and moan about the rate going up by a few cents. My prof talked about how greywater systems reuse water for toilet flushing and the first thing some dumbshiat says is 'that's gross!'. It's not like you're drinking it dumbarse.

People have been contemplating urban farming for years out of concern for food supplies and security. Though I hope they tested that soil and made sure it wasn't contaminated with gasoline and heavy metals before they started growing vegetables.

Slaves2Darkness: Lady go down to Lowes and get your self a sprayer, some industrial grade plant killer, and go to town some night like a plant killing Ninja.


She could make some crop circles while she's at it.
 
2013-09-21 07:52:19 PM
To all you people who are saying "These idiots.  They live in a depopulated wasteland and someone comes in to improve the place and they cry a river.  What's wrong with them?"  I can guarantee that if you lived there, you'd have a different outlook.  I live within ten blocks of the cornfields and I know some of the people who are complaining.

First, almost all of those crumbling buildings the article talks about, that are interspersed among the cornfields, are owned by this same developer who has done nothing with the properties for the five to ten years he's owned them. The city land he just bought was a recent development.  Because of this developer's past sins no one in this neighborhood trusts him any further than they can throw him.

Second, this developer would have gone bankrupt if certain politicians (particularly from one political family) hadn't gotten a $90 million tax credit only this developer qualified for passed by the state legislature.  The father in that family from the last sentence runs a non-profit housing corporation that owns a small chunk of the developer's company.  The developer also makes massive political donations to every politician who is even a little agreeable with his plans.  That's this developer's ongoing key business activity as far as I can tell.  His other developments in the suburbs and exurbs have all been massively subsidized by state and local governments.  This one is no different and the gravy train won't end with that $90 million tax credit.

Third, the first $20 million of those tax credits the developer received were transferred to the non-profit housing corporation run by that political family that helped him get the tax credits.  The daughter of the guy running that non-profit is the city alderwoman for virtually the entire 2.5 square miles this developer plans to "re-develop".  Btw, she won the last election with more absentee votes than regular votes.  That non-profit then sold the tax credits and no involved will say exactly who got the money in the end.  This is possible because Missouri has a special class of tax credits that are transferable so a non-profit can get and then sell tax credits and make money from the deal.

Fourth, despite the spraying, the corn is all wormy and no one is eating any of it. It's mostly sweet corn and is for human consumption unlike the stuff we grew on the farm I grew up on.  This is a totally bizarre exercise by a loopy non-profit with more money than sense.

Fifth, I grew up on a farm and have tilled the soil, planted the corn, driven a combine harvesting it, and hauled the grain to a grain elevator to sell it.  I know what's involved.  The pesticides are toxic and no one should be out standing around breathing the air when the trucks are out spraying.  That no one told these people what was going to happen is really really dumb and fits with the pattern of behavior we've seen from this developer.

Sixth, the people complaining are all people who stayed and stuck it out in this area through thick and thin, or who came in and bought newly built houses 10 or 20 years ago because they believe in the city.  They keep up their houses and stay even though that may not be the best financial decision they ever made.  They should be the ones who are celebrated in this city.  Instead, they're probably going to be the ones pushed out by this developer.

Seventh, when they are, they won't get nearly enough to buy the same house elsewhere, because of the property values being crappy in an area that really doesn't have nearly the level of crime people think it does.  A lot of that is because it's a primarily black area and those areas are always thought of as higher crime even though they're not.  If you want to learn about the racial issues that created a lot of the blight in this area I can recommend "Mapping Decline" by Colin Gordon which is an entire book about this specific area, it's problems, and how they came about.

There is so much back-story left out of that article that unless you know it you completely misinterpret what's actually happening.
 
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